It’s no longer enough to simply make a great film/web series. Let’s face it, the internet is filled with incredibly well-made content. It’s well written, well shot, well directed and fully realized. Sure, it doesn’t have any recognizable onscreen talent, but damn, this thing is good.
Then you look at how many people have viewed it and you can literally hear the cold vacuum of space. Why is that? I’m sure that’s a question on the minds of every upstart and even experienced filmmaker.
The answer is simple. The audience you are asking to watch your work, simply isn’t being given the right information to understand why investing their time (which is a form of payment) into your work has value for them.
Let me give you an example. How many times have we all seen this post on Facebook: “Hey Folks – So it’s finally ready!!! Check out episode 1 of my new Sci-Fi Horror series, "Decron 5 And The Hammer Of Narg.” (title has been changed to protect the innocent
That statement and a link to the video. That’s it. Let’s ask ourselves what’s wrong with that. Below are 3 things you can do today to seriously build audience around your work and get them viewing the things you make.
• Say Who You Are – Explain what audience your work speaks to and what impact it has on them. For example, “My work lives at the intersection of technology and the dark segments of the human mind. My work has been described as….”. This defines you as a filmmaker, thus allowing the audience a direct path to understanding why they might like your work.
• Give Context - Explain what the viewer is getting if they pay you with their time by watching your video. This could take the form of “if you like unexpected twists, you’ll love the surprise ending…” This gives them something that they will look forward to seeing.
• Deliver Your Content To Potential Viewers In Multiple and Different Ways – Simply beating the “Hey, check out my stuff” post to death will lead to viewer fatigue. They will biologically reject any further posts from you that look like that. Instead, post about the core ideas that your series/film is based on, i.e. write a post that could be titled “How technology is used to generate fear in horror films”. Then use your film as an example along with more well-known titles. This not only gets the audience thinking about the themes in your work! but also associates you with the greats who have executed these themes well.
In the end, including these simple tactics can dramatically increase your viewership and fan base. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn and lay out the reasons why your work matters. If you don’t, no one else will.